My name is Lynette Last and I am the President of Snowy Mountains U3A which is situated in the town of Cooma, NSW. Cooma is known as the 'Gateway to the Snowy Mountains' and is the headquarters for the great Snowy Mountains Hydro-electricity Scheme, hence it is a very cosmopolitan town. It is ideally situated being approximately 1hour from the ski fields, 1 hour from Canberra, the capital of Australia and 1 hour to the east coast. The surrounding area is known as "The Monaro" (pronounced 'mon' as in on, 'air', 'oh') which is an aboriginal word meaning "treeless plains" and we certainly are. Most of the year we are in drought but at the moment the area is exceptionally green due to the quite unusual amount of rain we are experiencing. The population of Cooma is about 8,000 and our main source of income is industry, sheep and cattle farming. We also have a very good tourist trade. Because of our cold climate (often down to -15 in winter) we can grow beautiful roses and have some quite English gardens. Our summers are tolerable compared to the northern regions. The Monaro encompasses quite a few towns and reaches up into The High Country' to Jindabyne, and the snowfields at Thredbo and Perisher.
We started our U3A in June 2006 and currently we have 30 members but with the push this year for more courses and tutors we are looking extremely good to increasing our membership for 2008. We are currently offering 20 courses e.g. Painting, Art in all its Mediums, Home Repairs, Hobbycraft, a Variety Group, Computing, English History, Home Budgeting, Play Reading, Public Speaking, Recorder, Musical Appreciation, Italian, Sculpting, Myer Briggs, Tai Chi, Korean Cooking, Public Speaking Listening and Communicating, and Choral Singing. We have many talks and workshops programmed; as interesting as Antarctica , Mt Everest, Precious Gemstones, Famous Australians and Health Issues.
What I like best about my U3A is the opportunity it gives me in being instrumental in offering friendship, encouragement and interests to our older citizens. It is certainly true: "Those who teach shall learn and those who learn shall teach".